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February 2017

Two New Graphic Tip Sheets on Technology Are Available

IEL is introducing two new graphic Tip Sheets on technology use among young children. Tech Time for Infants and Toddlers highlights ways families and caregivers can find a healthy balance with technology and electronic media in their lives. Tech Time for Young Children provide tips on how to deal with technology with preschoolers. Both Tip Sheets are also available in Spanish, Polish, and Arabic.

Noisy Neighbors Lead to an Investigation on Tractors

In our latest project added to Illinois Projects in Practice, the children’s curiosity about the tractor test laboratory next to their large outdoor play space led to a project on tractors. Through their investigation, they visited the tractor lab and a nearby tractor museum, enjoyed a tractor left on their program’s playground for several weeks, and built their own tractor from scrap materials and recyclables brought in by families.

IEL Introduces Its First Tip Sheet in French

IEL’s popular Tip Sheet Helping Your Child Learn in Two Languages, which details some ways parents have helped young children keep their home language while learning English in school, is now available in French. This is our most widely translated Tip Sheet, which is also available in Spanish, Polish, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, and Russian.

Learning to Get Along with Friends

In her latest blog, Dr. Susan Fowler outlines a variety of different steps caregivers of a child with developmental delays can take to help their child form and enjoy friendships. She also provides a number of IEL and other resources on friendships and social-emotional development.

Adapted Plans Help Tailor Lessons to a Variety of Needs

Did you know IEL has 20 adapted lesson plans to help teachers address a wide range of IELDS benchmarks? These lesson plans include a list of adaptations that will help teachers tailor the lesson to young children with a variety of learning needs. There are five lesson plans each in math and language arts, three in science, two in social studies, two in physical development and health, and three in arts. Many plans also include adaptations for social-emotional development benchmarks.

Help Us Serve You Better

The IEL Project wants to hear from you to learn how we can best serve you through our Web-based resources. Please complete our online survey and let us know how we can support you in your role as a parent, caregiver, or teacher of young children.

Question Answering Service

The Illinois Early Learning Project provides reliable resources and information in response to your questions on the parenting, care, and education of young children in Illinois. To take advantage of this service, please call our toll-free number at (877) 275-3227 during business hours or send us your question using our online form.

Upcoming Conferences

Building Your Inclusion Toolbox, Feb. 27, Normal, IL

36th Annual PreK and Kindergarten Conference, March 1–3, Schaumburg, IL

Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism (ECE-RJ) Conference, March 1–4, Chicago, IL

20th Annual Ounce of Prevention Infant/Toddler Conference, March 4, Des Plaines, IL

The Autism, Behavior, and Complex Medical Needs (ABC-D) downstate conference, April 28, O’Fallon, IL

McCormick Center National Leadership Conference, May 17–20, Wheeling, IL

Summer Institute: The Project Approach, July 24–28, Davenport, IA

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We'd Like to Hear From You

For more information about the Illinois Early Learning Project, contact Bernadette Laumann at (877) 275-3227 or